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Long time no see--any advice on retaking?

kimpg_66kimpg_66 Alum Member
in General 1617 karma

Hi 7sage! After the Dec test, I had to take a mental break. Now that Feb scores came out, I'm looking at all the threads and wondering if I could get a higher score.
Context: I'm a second semester junior right now, planning on applying in Fall 2018. I have not looked at the LSAT since Dec. 2 lmao. I also scored a 173, when my highest PT had been 171. With my GPA, I'm looking at T3. I know that retaking the exam doesn't matter, except to Yale. And I'm pretty sure a 173 on the first try looks good to adcoms. My concern is that if I were to score lower than 173, Yale would nope-out. So my question: is it worth the risk?

Advice on retaking
  1. If you were in my shoes, what would you do?61 votes
    1. Retake
    2. Stick with the score you have


  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    Hmm yale wont be an auto reject since there were people who were below 25th on LSAT and GPA who gained admissions. As for the 173, was your LG perfect? If it was less than perfect, you can probably aim for a 175 or more which would help you get alot more money. Since you are K-JD, it wouldnt hurt to take some time off, retake the LSAT and get some substantive work experience. This will help with your OCIs and give you a sense of how work culture is like.

  • calcal101calcal101 Alum Member
    582 karma

    Honestly, your score is great, and I think your time is better spent on softs (which will definitely matter for t3). Hone your personal statements, go to office hours to maximize your LOR, and get involved in your community

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    Your score is great. If I were in your position, I would casually study during the summer. If I saw my PT average was above 173, then I would sign up for a fall examination.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited March 2018 3072 karma

    How much more do you want Yale than you want Stanford or Harvard? It's a risk but it's not like you're an auto-reject at Yale if your score goes down.

  • lsat4lifelsat4life Alum Member
    255 karma

    173 is likely to be YLS median, so does a higher score help? Look at LSN -- How does admission rate at 173 w/ your GPA compare to the rate for 175+ with same GPA?

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    I think if I were you, I might try studying and see where you're at. Also important question, did you feel like you were still improving when you took the test or had you plateau'd? That might help decide. I think you might be able to tell if you think you can beat it. I think if you try studying and your PTs start averaging 173+, I'd retake. But if your PTs are still around 170-171, then you're not likely to repeat grabbing those couple extra points.

    From what I've seen, Yale averages scores. So, even if you got a 175, they'd count it as more being a 174 average. Or conversely, if you score 171, it's more like a 172. So it depends how much risk you think it is, but also how much benefit it really would be.

  • Brian_LSATBrian_LSAT Yearly Member
    232 karma

    I think it depends on how much value you place on Yale vs other options. If Yale is clearly your top choice, then a first-take 173 is golden (congrats on a great score, btw). If you would be tempted by something like a Hamilton then there is a good argument for trying for a higher score.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    I would retake.

    I'm forgetting exactly what sort of GPA range you have, but I think it was higher than mine.

    I had a 172 and about a 3.8. Looking at the numbers using mylsn and law school numbers a couple things were clear. The first was that a slightly higher LSAT even a 173, but especially a 175 or above would give me better chances at Yale, Harvard, and Stanford and that it would open up scholarship opportunities in the Top 14. I retook and got a 180. I have not yet got into HYS, but definitely consider it worthwhile because I have got $150,000 at one of (Michigan, Virginia, and Pennsylvania) and have got into one of the Top 6. With my 172 I would have considered that a successful cycle. Right now, I would consider it slightly disappointing if I don't at least rack up a couple more options to decide on within the Top 6.

    I think you should also consider that this is a very competitive cycle. Right now 175 plus applicants are up about 70 percent. We don't really know why or if it will subside at all for next cycle. That means that medians of the Top 3 could move up.

    Finally, unless you have very lofty ambitions you should consider that your high GPA and just a slightly higher LSAT might put you in position for one of NYUs full scholarships, Columbia's Hamilton, Chicago's Rubenstein, Virginia's Dillard, or Michigan's Darrow. Those scholarships might be worth looking at even if you get into one of HYS, especially if you don't stand to get much need based aid.

    As to the fear of doing worse, I don't think it's a huge risk. First of all you can study more and take PTs ahead of time and see how you are doing. If the 173 really was an abberation then take it and run. However, most likely you just were well rested, well prepared, and peaked at the right time. After the break you have had you might find yourself quickly pushing even higher into the 170s. Lots of times our mind needs time to digest information. If you are PTing above 175 go in and have a bad day and get a 172, I really don't believe Yale will punish you.

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